The purpose of this blog series is to describe the top 12 steps to ensure successful software implementation. The first nine steps, Planning, Process Design, Solution Design, Configuration, Customization, Integration, Reporting, Training, Testing and Data Conversion were discussed in my previous blog posts.
This post is about Deployment.
A successful deployment is about three things:
The organization of the steps to deploy a solution must be carefully organized so they can be executed in a certain order. For example, you can’t grant access to the users before the data conversion is complete. Another example is you can’t turn on any integrations if both systems are not installed with their data updated. Deployment planning should start during the design stage with everyone tracking go live items and communicating them to the project manager. The Project Manager should then keep track of all the go live items, arranging the in the proper order, determined durations and assigning responsibilities.
Once there is a legitimate plan, the steps should be practised. For smaller deployment this could take place as a talk-through where each person explains in order their own tasks. A talk-through is good for determining if the order of the steps is correct and if each person knows their own tasks. If there is concern regarding how long each step will take then a full mock go-live should be executed. This is when everyone executes the full set of steps in a test environment.
It is likely the steps involved in a go live must be executed across various team members. This means that communication is particularly important. Each person will need to know when they can execute on their steps. They need to communicate if anything goes wrong or take longer than it should because their issues may effect another person in the process. Perhaps most importantly, the end users should be kept informed so they know when they can start using the system.
In summary, plan, practice and communicate to be sure you have a smooth go-live. My last blog in this series will be about Project Management.